Gift Guide: For Him

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I think men are the hardest to shop for. At least the men in my life are! They aren’t metro men, so skin care or simple treats don’t really spark joy. If there is something they need or desperately want, they buy it. That only leaves items that are way out of anyone’s budget and a few obscure buys. If you have a similar experience when it comes to buying for men, or you’ve left Christmas shopping until the last minute for any other reason, this guide might help you.

Games

If the man you’re shopping for enjoys games, either on a console or board games, then this is a good place to start looking. While game consoles and even new games can make for fairly expensive gifts, the accessories that come with it often doesn’t have to break the bank. Things like a second controller, protective covers for controllers or an older game (like Grand Theft Auto) can make great gifts.

As far as board games go, our two favourites have been Decrypto and Codenames. Expansion packs on board games like Catan are also a good option. I think a board game could even pass as a gift to a couple.

Tools

This screwdriver set is a good basic and the discounted price is great, but be sure to sneak a peak into the guy’s toolbox to see what they are missing. Don’t have a tool box? That is also a great gift! This cordless drill is a little bit of a splurge, but an essential for any home owner.

Bar Cart

This golden shaker and stirrer by Country Road will be a prised possession of any bar cart owner, but this (more affordable) bottle stopper is also a great basic! If you’re after something more affordable, H&M home has some beautiful bottle openers and this agate opener from Poetry is just stunning. A delicious bottle of their favourite tipple, like Amarula or Disaronno will also always go down a treat.

Clothing & Accessories

Lounge wear and pyjamas are your safest bet here. These are all things he’d never purchase for himself, but really appreciates once he has them on. My husband really appreciates a cotton T-shirt, good slippers and a luxe feeling robe. This linen robe from H&M is a good bet and is available in-stores in SA.  If it’s accessories you’re after, you can’t go wrong with this classic leather wallet. These days most men’s wallets are glorified card holders, but not this one! The simple design is complemented by it’s functionality and the beautiful leather has held up fairly well as my husband has been using it for most of the year.

Gadgets

Now I could include a drone or two on this list, but honestly I wouldn’t want to rob any men from choosing their own! These Sony noise cancelling headphones are much less exciting, but will likely be used much more. They are very similar to the popular Bose ones, just at a more affordable price point. I also think a good sports watch and heart-rate monitor is a great gift for the active men out there. Sportman’s Warehouse has a great range. Lastly, rechargeable batteries powers all the best gifts and doesn’t have to break the bank.

Beauty

As I mentioned above, I don’t have a metro man in my life. That doesn’t mean I haven’t tried gifting beauty product – I mean even the active (modern) caveman must use a sun block! So here is my roundup, if you choose to brave these muddy water. Woolworth’s Aftershave Moisturiser takes the sting out of razor burn and doesn’t break the bank. They also do a good beard oil, although I don’t think anything beats Buffelsfontein Baardolie’s marketing. If you’re looking for something more luxe, then a Clinique set is a great all-in-one gift and the Kiehl’s Facial Fuel UV Guaca nrd is a great moisturiser/sunblock duo. Lastly, The Body Shop’s men range is also a great place to start.

 

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Christmas Gift Guide: For Her

It is that time of the year again! If you haven’t purchased gifts for all the ladies in your life yet, then perhaps some of these ideas might serve as inspiration.

Home

I’m starting with my favourite category, home goods! H&M Home and Poetry are usually my first stops. A beautiful plant (cactus or orchid) with a pot is one of my favourite gifts to give. This one from H&M fits the bill perfectly. I also recently bought two very pretty plant pots for under R200 each at Weylandts (not available online), so definitely worth a look. You also can’t go wrong with a marble cheese board. This one from Poetry is sold out online, but the wooden one is similarly priced and just as pretty. Occasional cutlery also makes a beautiful gift and I just purchased this cake fork set for myself. These golden tea spoons are just as pretty from H&M.

Books

I love my book collection and most recently added but this book, It’s Beautiful Here by Megan Morton. Next on my list is Dream, Design, Love by Paloma Contreras. It is a beautiful decor book that seems to have the perfect balance of inspirational and educational content. I’m also sure that Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi will be one of the most popular cooking books under Christmas trees this year. P.S. I have taken to ordering all my books on Raru as their pricing is generally great and I haven’t had a problem with quality yet (fingers crossed)!

Accessories

Pretty hair slides are making a big comeback and this sparkly one from Woolworths is sure to make any recipient smile. It doesn’t hurt that it looks so much more expensive than it is! If gifting for someone slightly more daring, you can’t go wrong with a pair of tortoise shell earrings. Mine are from Woolworths (can’t find them online to link), but I am trying to convince myself that I don’t need this pair as well. The Woolworths ones are the perfect medium size and the Zando ones look like they will be too. Both Woolworths and Zando have larger styles as well.

Beauty

Beauty gifts can be quite personal, so if you don’t know someone very well I think a beautiful hand lotion and nail polish are your safest bet. These hand butters from Woolworths are absolutely beautiful and come in a variety of scents and packagings. You’re sure to find one to suit everyone! Plus it is often on offer, either a three-for-two or their 20% off beauty offer. Whilst choosing a nail polish colour can be quite personal, I think you’re safe with either going with something similar to what the person has worn before or a classic red or nude. My favourite nail polishes are by Mavala as they are free from some nasties found in other nail polishes and their colour selection is impressive.

If you’re feeling flush, a beautiful scent can be the ultimate gift. I’m currently using Diptyque’s Do Son which is an intense tuberose, orange blossom and jasmine fragrance that wears down quite beautifully throughout the day. Other favourite scents include Chanel’s Chance and Jo Malone’s Peony and Blush Suede. But be warned, fragrance is a very personal gift so try not to veer to far away from what the person is currently using.

Pyjamas

Lastly you can’t go wrong by giving the gift of comfort, especially if it is beautiful to boot! Poetry make some of the prettiest summer robes around, like this one. If you fancy a satin slip that I promise will last you years, these are the ones you’re looking for. I just recently replaced my previous ones that has lasted years with the floral monochrome one. Edgars also has some pretty PJ sets in stock at the moment. Their online selection is very limited in comparison, but I like these as well.

Creative

A good gift idea for the lady that already has everything is a creative workshop or some basic supplies for her chosen hobby as these are always needed. Workshops can be pricey, so it is worth giving some thought as to what she might enjoy most. CK-Ramics give ceramic classes in Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs, Creative Arts in Durbanville offer artist workshops and Sweet Lion Heart often offer baking workshops in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

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Festive Van Der Hum Cocktail

This time of year – summer, the festive season and school holidays – is the ideal time to have friends and family over. Although our gatherings are usually fairly casual, I  love how a simple cocktail can make even a pizza party feel special. As Christmas is around the corner, you’ll likely find yourself playing host some time over the coming month. This cocktail is a staple in our house as it is so easy to scale according to party size, whether you’re solo wrapping all the gifts or hosting the extended family.

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My Current Skincare Routine & Essentials

My skincare routine has changed significantly since my original post on the subject over four years ago. While I think my routine was right for me, my skin and my budget at the time, I’m actually much happier with my current routine and line-up. If you’re looking to shake things up, you might be happy to implement some of the changes I have made.

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Why Podcasts are Great & Some of My Favourites

If you haven’t delved into the world of podcasts yet, you are seriously missing out! With so much amazing, quality  content available for free, there is little reason to go about life’s errands in silence any longer. Although I’m still fairly new to the subject, there are a handful of podcasts I listen to on a weekly basis. If you don’t like girly banter or true crime, this list might not be for you, but there is a whole universe out there waiting to be listened to. Standing in line at the grocery store has never been so entertaining!

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Six of My Favourite Coffee Table Books

Coffee table books

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but it is so much easier said than done! There are so many amazing books to choose from that it can be hard to narrow down which ones are worth the shipping costs, so I thought I’d give you a peak into some of my favourite coffee table books. They cover a vast range of topics from wanderlust inducing books on the City of Love to Caroline Khoo’s beautiful confectioneries that are literally the way to my heart.

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Hand Luggage Essentials

In flight travel essentials

Between packing for my husband’s frequent work trips (shh don’t tell the TSA agents!) and the trips I have been very lucky to go on, I’ve gained enough mileage to consider myself somewhat of an expert when it comes to choosing the hand luggage essentials. Now obviously a lot of what you choose to take with you depends on where you are going and how long your flight is, but I usually start with this list and add or subtract what is necessary.

On a shorter flight, say like the four hours to Mauritius, I only took my handbag and made sure to double check I had a lip balm and hair-tie. On other trips, especially ones where there isn’t a swanky airport pick-up arranged or a long layover is included, I choose a more sturdy backpack. My back already takes a beating on those crappy airplane seats, the last thing I want to do it hurt it even more! Plus backpacks tend to have plenty of storage space for the essentials. It goes without saying that I try to keep things to the minimum so that said back problems don’t worsen unnecessary. Find my full list below.

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What to Buy on Your Next US Trip

 

US Beauty shopping

I’ve shared my New York wishlist on the blog, so most of the items featured in this post shouldn’t come as a big surprise. I’m excited to share with you what I decided to take home as well as some of my favourite stores in case you might have an upcoming trip to the US or a willing mule. I know I did brig home quite a few things, but I want to disclaim that I had been saving for a while and that it also was my birthday so I had quite a bit of birthday money to splurge on myself as well.

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My New York City Guide

Brooklyn Bridge views

We just came back from the most wonderful trip to New York this spring and I can’t wait to share it all with you and relive it in the process. It still feels a little surreal and it might have been a little too close on the heels of our previous trip, but when opportunity presents itself you have to jump!

I approached this holiday a little differently to previous ones and decided to plan as little as possible. Obviously I didn’t want any regrets so I did do some research into what I’d like to see, but we took things as they came on most days. This means more wandering around aimlessly, shopping and stopping for coffee often.

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Meatball Gyros Recipe

Meatball gyrosMy husband and I like this so much that we included this in our meal lineup almost every week during the summer and now that it has cooled down I still find myself craving it every now and again. This is the result of researching falafels before our Paris trip (can you believe we didn’t even know what they were!?) and trying to create something similar looking with what we had on hand. So not very authentic and actually much closer to Greek gyros. The best part though? One batch will serve about four adults and you might even have a little leftovers for lunch.

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